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Old 12-30-2012, 12:50 AM   #1
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Do you give your Port Captain an end of year bonus?

I'm a new liveaboard who travels frequently for work. When I'm gone it's for several weeks at a time. Lucky for me I've got the world's greatest Port Captain, who is also my primary boat maintenance guy. His advice is invaluable. His integrity? It's topnotch. If I could I'd chain him to my boat and never let him leave.

Update: I'm talking about my personal port captain here (not boat captain) - he takes care of the boat in my absence, and much more. Maybe "caretaker" is a more common term?

No government employees involved.

Is there a "standard" end of year bonus or tip for these wonderful folk? What do those of you in a similar situation do?

I know it's up to me to decide, but it would be helpful to hear how others show their appreciation.

Thanks!
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:02 AM   #2
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Boat captain? The workers at my marina are government-employed. I don't believe in bribing them. The marina receives my monthly berth fees and payment for fuel, and an employee hands me the hose at the fuel dock. As a former government employee, I never received or expected a tip as that would have been unethical/illegal.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:16 AM   #3
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Good point Mark.

Many of the Port marinas are county/city owned and operated and as such, their employees are Government employees and fall under the State and Federal Ethics Laws.

If you feel compelled to tip or "bribe" the marina staff, make sure the marina is privately owned and doesn't fall into that category. Acceptance of gifts and monetary awards are strictly prohibited to public employees.

Your well intentioned gift, could cost some kid their job.

Larry B,
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:21 AM   #4
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I'm talking about my personal port captain (not boat captain) - he takes care of the boat in my absence, and much more. Maybe "caretaker" is a more common term?

No government employees involved.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:27 AM   #5
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Tipping has been a subject here before and it's quite a personal thing. As Mark points out some are government employees and not able to "legally" receive them. A nice card with a personal note may be best in that situation for someone who stands out for their diligence.

Myself when tipping those that perform a non-governmental service on a regular basis take a more personal approach as I am more familiar with them than say a waitress. Perhaps a bottle of top shelf brandy or wine or a gift certificate to a meal for two?

Cash is always appreciated but as one who once received those tips, the personal stuff always seemed to mean more to me. Folks who took the more personal approach always seem to stand out in my mind as the years go by. For some reason the cash tips received are more easily forgotten as I age.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKMary View Post
I'm talking about my personal port captain (not boat captain) - he takes care of the boat in my absence, and much more. Maybe "caretaker" is a more common term?

No government employees involved.
Well, in that case, I'd figure between $20 and $50 an hour depending on the nature of the service. So if he spent a half hour a month looking out for my boat, I'd say something like $120. I'm assuming he's performing services you aren't otherwise paying for.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:48 AM   #7
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...as one who once received those tips, the personal stuff always seemed to mean more to me.

CP - I was thinking of something more personal than cash but wondered if it would be appreciated. Thanks for your perspective - this is helpful.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:55 AM   #8
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Tipping has been a subject here before and it's quite a personal thing. As Mark points out some are government employees and not able to "legally" receive them. A nice card with a personal note may be best in that situation for someone who stands out for their diligence.
A letter to the employee's supervisor would be helpful/appreciated, no?
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:00 AM   #9
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I found a gift certificate to a high class restaurant for two works well. At least it placed me in line for this year for the same attention shown last year i.e. was one of his favorite persons boat to look after again this year.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:08 AM   #10
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I found a gift certificate to a high class restaurant for two works well. At least it placed me in line for this year for the same attention shown last year i.e. was one of his favorite persons boat to look after again this year.
That would be about $120, assuming each orders an alcoholic drink. At the Dead Fish Restaurant in Crockett (not a high-rent district) recently, we had a single appetizer, a crab Alfredo entree, a small prime rib entree, a single desert, and each a beverage: cost was nearly $120, with tip. (We over-spent the $100 bet Perla won from my sister.)
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:16 AM   #11
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markpierce & OBNL- The gift cert for 2 is exactly what I was thinking about doing & I've got a great place in mind already. I don't know if his other clients do this sort of thing, but he sure deserves it. Thanks so much for your input.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:24 AM   #12
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A letter to the employee's supervisor would be helpful/appreciated, no?
Absolutely. Especially so when dealing with public sector rather than private sector employees.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:21 AM   #13
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Our boat watcher is not part of the"port." We take the watcher and spouse to dinner several times per year. If you live far from your vessel these watchers are essential so treat them right.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:41 AM   #14
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Definitely a gift certificate would be appreciated I'm sure. Just for the peace of mind he's giving you during the off season.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:24 PM   #15
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We don't tip our boat diver, but he always does extra complimentary checks on my boat bottom and gear, when he's diving on boats around me.

We boaters all hang out at the same pub, so he usually drinks for free at our table and I pick up his meal several time a year. He is always eager to join us, so I would say it's what he is comfortable with.

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Old 12-31-2012, 01:23 AM   #16
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We're with Mark. All the employees of the Port of Bellingham are city employees. They get paid just fine for their work.

As city employees I suspect there are ethics regulations prohibiting them from taking payments from marina tenants.

We do not tip anyone in the marine industry be it dock staff at a marina (if for no other reason that the marinas we visit don't have dock staff), yard and fuel dock workers, or the diesel shop, electrical shop, etc. that we use.

If these folks do a good job for us we reward them by continuing to give them our business.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:51 AM   #17
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I would not normally tip, it is not as ingrained here as in USA, but in the middle of my recent 6 week deck reno I gave the shipwright employee doing most of the work a case of beer,and at Christmas a case of 6 Aussie sparkling vintage wine to split between owner and 2 staff. When previous shipwrights worked through the deafening noise and dust filth of an adjacent sandblasting I donated a case of wine. (Are shipwrights big drinkers, or is just it me?) In both cases the cost was a drop in the ocean compared to what I was spending.
AKMary`s deal with his "port captain" is a personal arrangement quite unrelated to Govt/Council staff. If he wants to reward, he is probably right to do so. The idea of a dinner out voucher is a nice one, with or without some $ or other gift. Only AKMary knows how far above and beyond his port captain has gone to merit reward,how much the already agreed pay has been, and what might be most appreciated.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:09 AM   #18
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I tip when we go out for dinner because I would be known as a cheap bastard if I didn't. Other than that, I don't tip. My gratitude comes to them in the form of giving them more business. No one tips me on my job. What I do is what is expected of me. I also think some of you (not all), are fooling yourselves into thinking you are getting better service for tipping. It might just be an illusion. To some of the low income earners, you are just a bunch of rich people showing off your money and they have great distain for you. They will gladly take your money with a smile, but when you are not around, you may not be getting the service you think you are. Now that's a cheerful thought.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:58 PM   #19
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On the subject of tipping: here in San Diego, a resort city, the restaurants and bars take an annual survey of the best and worst tippers; the best tippers are from New York City, the worst from anywhere in Canada.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:06 PM   #20
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Give a man a fish.
Next time you have a good day fishing.
Share.
Fresh fish is always a good tip.

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